American Samizdat

Wednesday, December 06, 2006. *
No Gloom on this Front
How realistic can leftist activists be about the normal man and woman in America who need to make a living to get by? How long have wages stayed the same while all the costs of living have gone up? Does anyone here have a factual counterargument to Thom Hartmann's book-backed assertion that there has been a war on the middle class going on for a while now and the middle class has indeed suffered - hugely - as a result of it? How many people with families have to take on more than one job to get by?

Thom sez the middle class was the strongest in the seventies - when social activism was also at a peak. Leisure time leads to citizen time. This is why the powerful want to destroy all leisure time. Makes sense, doesn't it? The average American suffers, slides deeper into debt. Worries less about everything other than how is he or she going to make it, pay the bills, feed the family, etc. Much less time to listen to Amy Goodman. Much less time to do anything about the anger you feel after you've listened to the latest atrocity or social injustice that you just learned about from the always excellent Amy Goodman.

And yet - the average American - known around the world for their idleness at election-time - came out in droves not only for an election, but for a midterm election. Victory for the democrats, my ass. If horses had ran against the Republicans in the last election, the horses might just have won. So why is everyone beating on the Democrats?

First of all, let's hear it for the voters. The youth came out in record numbers - isn't that good news? Look, the YOUTH ARE LISTENING! Do you know how hard that was previously thought to be? Before this last election I bet any Madison Avenue den would charge you 5k minimum to tell you the only way to get to the youth would be with a free fucking ipod. These kids are OK. If that's not a reason to feel a little hope, I don't know what is.

The latinos, too - came out and came out against the Republicans. No longer maybe, as John Leguizamo once put it, will you have "roaches for Raid." (Same goes for loghouse Republicans, etc, etc.) Not for the Democrats, but against the Republicans. Don't just take my word for it - Nancy Pelosi put out the strategy to not say anything - the repubs were just screwing themselves, let 'em fall. You say something, they attack you, so say nothing. Give them nothing to attack while they fall all over themselves . . . and their naked boy teens, gay escorts, dirty money, whathaveyou.

Gore Vidal said the last election was the last chance for this country to save itself before sliding into fascism. Gore Vidal said that. And against all odds - even stacked against the plethora of dirty tricks they pulled it out - the people overwhelmed them. That, and they overestimated themselves. Their hubris brought them down. They totally had no idea how many people in this country fucking hated them. Fuck the Democrats, the last election was about hating the Republicans.

[Hate, however, is too strong a word. I doubt anyone has had more complete and utter contempt for this Cheney crew than me, but if ever I 'hated' - I had to let it go. Full realization of what mass murdering sons a bitches these people really are 24/7 can do nothing but kill the host.]

I haven't been political all my life - I had a pretty comfortable upbringing. It wasn't until driving all across the country after dropping out of college (and the biggest disappointment of my life - not getting hired onto the Late Show after an audition) and experiencing brief homelessness for the first time plus working in Alaska on a fishing factory seven days a week 16 hours a day with all labor laws ignored, did I began to have a social consciousness. Listening to Alternative Radio on NPR - specifically, a one hour show by Michael Parenti which clued me to the uncomfortable truths about America many people never realize - was what triggered my epiphany. Or maybe, it was the first time I had really listened. It really is a matrix. All that shit they taught you in elementary school about being proud of your democracy was a total fucking sham. And not only did your country not spread democracy around the world, but it spread death - death which paved the way for money.

Like a lot of Americans who manage to find a way out of the most incredible media entertainment bubble ever created in history, you go through the stages of death - denial, depression, acceptance. And, eventually, you think that instead of giving up on the dream of democracy, you can actually work to make it happen.

But it was the original WTO protests in Seattle that gave me a passion I don't think will ever die - it will certainly get weaker over the years, depending, but it will never die. Witnessing a full-blown police riot - seeing the police start teargassing protestors with no provocation - against the people, and then seeing the police lie about it, and then coming home to see every TV station repeat the official lie over and over again . . . there is no better red pill.

But then, in the end, the talks fall apart. And now everyone knows what the WTO is. The people hit them when and where they were least expecting it. It was a victory. Walking through the streets with those people from all over the world on the fifth day especially, when the people knew that they had won, and there would no more teargassing and no more WTO meetings? It was the best social activist 'church' any enlightened citizen could hope for. Without that experience, I probably wouldn't have started a single website.

Which was 2000, when Bush hits. And then six years of proving every paranoic right and moving this country right into debt, right into war, and right into fascism. And then one election, finally, where the people proved they weren't so stupid. They weren't all a bunch of idiotic sheep after all. Their stupidity had a six-year lease - or, five years of stupidity and one good year of rage building.

They didn't come out for the fucking Dems - they came out against the fascism. Even moderates and righties were spooked by having their phone tapped, and all that shit. Especially darkest before the election - plans to OK everyone leaving and entering the country, extended martial law powers for the retard in the puppet seat, and the ability to take any US citizen in the middle of the nite and not tell anyone about it, and later torture and kill that person, Pinochet-style.

Everybody who knew the rackets even a little believed they were going to steal it again.

And then something unbelievable happened - the people showed up in numbers. Their own former base turned against them. They had no idea this was going to happen. They still thought they had the masses under their FOX-asshole thumbs. But the people came out and said, "Fuck you."

Fuck the Democrats. The American people, even though they have been struggling - finally "got it" and got off their couch-ridden asses and went to the polling place and put their fuck yous to Bush in.

I applaud those Americans. All of them. The people hit them when and where they were least expecting it.

Activism isn't easy. Anyone who has even attempted to try the door to door route for their local grassroots house knows how godamn grueling and time-consuming it can be. Even if you're not a full time activist but you still want to keep up on what's going on and care about it - this isn't always easy, either. It's a long haul. You need to take a lot of breaks. And you certainly need to take the brief glimmers of hope where you can get it. And for me, the American people gave it to me this last election. The buzz has since died. And by no means is our work done. But yea, it was something, after six long years of nothing.

I've got no gloom because I try to be realistic: the rich minority have been fucking over the poor masses since time immemorial. I do as much as I can in my life to try and change things, even a little. And I will never give up on this, for as long as I live.

I could give a rat's ass about Democrats. But after the last election, I have hope in the people of this country. If anything good came out of the last six years, it was that millions of Americans were force-fed the red pill. Americans are ingenious people, naysayers, when all is said and done. And I won't make the mistake of underestimating them again.

And, really, if the American people will never be anything but perpetual dumbasses to you, then I ask you: what's the point?
posted by Dr. Menlo at 2:56 AM
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